Michelle Williams

Now Playing on Sundance Channel: FORCES OF NATURE, THE HISTORY BOYS and MAMMOTH

Now Playing on Sundance Channel: FORCES OF NATURE, THE HISTORY BOYS and MAMMOTH

Two very different takes on a similar dilemma headline our choices this week, followed by a lighthearted coming-of-age comedy as only the Brits know how to make them.

Now playing on Sundance Channel: Art heists and deadly midterms

Now playing on Sundance Channel: Art heists and deadly midterms

Let’s watch a movie! What are you in the mood for? Asian horror? A big heist? A road movie? What about a quirky indie? You don’t have to make up your mind just yet, since we’ve got a bit of everything for you this week. So, fire up your DVR and decide between Nick Nolte and Michelle Williams. Don’t worry, unlike some of our subjects, you won’t get killed if anybody makes the wrong choice.

Wes Anderson and Woody Allen save summer cinema

Wes Anderson and Woody Allen save summer cinema

Not that sequels prequels, slapstick comedies, superhero flicks, and action/adventure thrillers can’t be intelligent, lol. But still, can we expect anything a cut above? Yes! Some warm-weather flicks are filtering in made by actual artistes with real aspirations, at least judging from the heady descriptions. Some of them are even coming before summer’s official start date. Here are some of the most promising looking options for your summer cinema plans:

Love sucks, that's why we brought pizza: a look at what's playing this week on Sundance Channel

Love sucks, that's why we brought pizza: a look at what's playing this week on Sundance Channel

As the icy fingers of Winter continue to creep up on us it’s time to stay in, bundle up and get cozy – and what better way to add on layers of warmth than with your favorite comfort food? Read our resident food blogger Zach Golden expound on the feel-goodness of feel-good food, and then tune into a month of Love Lust episodes that celebrate the art of chowing down with tonight’s episode, “Comfort Food.”

The Sundance series continue all week long, but that doesn’t mean our film lovers are getting the short end of the programming stick. On Wednesday night we’re showing Joe Maggio’s 2008 PAPER COVERS ROCK, the first film in a planned ten-part series inspired by Krystof Kieslowski’s “Decalogue.” Later that night, Catherine Deneuve stars in Andre Techine’s 2009 GIRL ON THE TRAIN, which follows two families brought together by a seemingly inexplicable event. Then on Thursday, love stinks with I HATE VALENTINE’S DAY (2009), which follows newbie filmmakers, and ex-bf/gf duo Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones’ BREAKING UPWARDS, the not-at-all-bad-for-$15k indie film hit of 2010…

WENDY AND LUCY and A SINGLE GIRL: Separated at Birth?

WENDY AND LUCY and A SINGLE GIRL: Separated at Birth?

I’m gearing up for Kelly Reichardt’s MEEK’S CUTOFF this spring, and in preparation, sought out a film of hers I’d not yet seen, the 2008 release WENDY AND LUCY. It’s such a simple and effective piece, beautifully rendered visually. It’s also driven significantly by sound. Dialogue operates here mostly at the level of basic function (“Where’s the nearest garage?” “I lost my dog.” “How much will that cost?”), allowing the sound design of trains and traffic to enhance the tension in quiet dramatic turning points of epiphany or realization, as Wendy’s situation worsens. As the film basically asks us to linger with the protagonist moment to moment, replicating the feeling of real time, it reminded me of another young-woman-in-trouble-in-slow-motion-film, A SINGLE GIRL (Benoit Jacques, 1995).

VALENTINE in close-up

VALENTINE in close-up

Close to Valentine’s Day, my honey and I went to see BLUE VALENTINE. Not on Valentine’s Day, mind you, that would be called … a bad omen. We walked out of the theatre repeating the phrase, “If you have a choice, take Cupid’s Cove and not the Future Room, for Chrissake sweet Jesus!” But the other phrase we walked out repeating was, “Wow, a whole movie in close-up!”

Sundance Film Festival follow up: BLUE VALENTINE

Sundance Film Festival follow up: BLUE VALENTINE

The much anticipated release of BLUE VALENTINE was an instant audience favorite at its festival premiere last January, earning director Derek Cianfrance a Grand Jury nomination. Cianfrance began making movies when he was thirteen, but this is his first feature-length narrative film. It’s already been nominated for two Golden Globes and an Independent Spirit Award,…

Dating advice for the Giving Tree's abusive relationship

Dating advice for the Giving Tree's abusive relationship

How did we manage to miss this totally awesome quote from Ryan Gosling? In an interview with New York magazine about his upcoming movie BLUE VALENTINE (opening later this year, it’s a portrait of a marriage, co-starring Michelle Williams), he’s asked about his character’s tattoo of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree on his arm, and replies: “That book is so fucked up; that story’s the worst. I mean, at the end the tree is a stump and the old guy just sitting on him — he’s just used him to death, and you’re supposed to want to be the tree? Fuck you. You be the tree. I don’t want to be the tree.” Now we can’t decide which we love more — Silverstein’s book or Gosling’s quote about it.

SHUTTER ISLAND

SHUTTER ISLAND

Robert DeNiro landed his first big role in Martin Scorcese’s MEAN STREETS in 1973. It was the first film they worked on together and the beginning of a long and profitable relationship. Over the next 22 years the two made 8 films together including TAXI DRIVER, RAGING BULL, GOODFELLAS and CASINO. Now it seems that Scorcese is going down that road of director/actor kinship once again, this time with Leonardo DiCaprio.